New Zealand’s climate varies greatly, ranging from warm subtropical in the far north to cool temperate climates in the far south. It’s important to choose the correct cover to ensure your horse is protected from the elements, insects and sun damage. With so many covers on the market, choosing the right one can be overwhelming.
We are here to help! Whether your horse is in the depth of winter or near the equator, follow these suggestions…
The first step in determining the size of your cover is to measure your horse’s height (hh = hands high). To measure your horse, grab a measuring tape or stick. Stand your horse on a level surface and hold the tape/stick vertical to the ground, placing the top of the tape/stick at the horse’s withers. Record this measurement to determine hh. For example, if my horse measures 66 inches, divide 66 by 4. The total is 16.5. In this example, 16 is the number of hands and the .5 is considered half a hand, or 2 inches. My horse is 16.2 hh.
See our below sizing chart to estimate what size horse rug you will need:
The warmth of a cover is determined by the “Fill”. The Fill is measured in grams per square meter. The higher the fill, the warmer the rug. Our rugs come in No Fill, 50g, 100g, 200gand 300g. Choosing the correct weight is critical to keep your horse comfortable through the cooler months.
Here are a few ideas to prepare and rug your horse in winter …
See our below fill guide:
If you would like to remove the guesswork, we suggest using Orscana. A health and activity monitor that fits into the inside of your rug. Download Orscana’s app to your smartphone and let it determine the best rug for your horse – it even checks the weather forecast and predicts what cover to use!
Now that you know the size of your horse, it is important to remember that although your cover has tabs to tighten or loosen, fitting for comfort is paramount. My horse is 16.2 hh, but my horse may be a little slimmer or a bit larger in the midsection, or my horse may be longer or shorter than other 16.2 hh horses!
How do you choose? Here are a few helpful tips…
The mostly commonly used lining is nylon/synthetics. Synthetic linings tend to be more durable, lighter, cooler, last longer and tend to slide over the coat better than cotton, preventing rubbing.
While synthetic is better for most horses, Cotton does have better wick-ability and if your horse has skin issues then Cotton lined may be a better option.
If you already have a Synthetic lined rug and don't want to fork out out for a Cotton lined, you can always use a Summer Cottoncover as a liner underneath your Turnout Rug.
I can't say this enough, it's extremely important that your rug is waterproof! Your horse is naturally able to fluff up his coat with the individual hairs standing up, rather than laying flat against the skin, trapping air close to his body and thereby insulating him from the cold. A wet rug will inhibit your horses natural ability to do this, you are better off with no cover at all than a wet one.
Regularly check your horses rug is waterproof, especially after heavy rain as covers tend to loose their waterproofing as they age. You can buy over the counter products to reproof it or have it professionally reproofed.
Good question! Denier refers to the strength of the cover’s outer shell, the higher the Denier, the thicker the weave and the stronger the material. The most common rugs will be 600D, 1200D and 1680D – 1200D is a good middle ground and offers superior strength and durability and will far outlast a 600D rug as well as still being lightweight and breathable when compared to a 1680D.
Ah, summer! Choosing a rug for summer is simple! Get rid of annoying biting flies, bots, midges, ticks and sunburn! Here are some pointers to help you choose wisely…
If you have any further questions, we would love to hear from you! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best and happy riding from the team at nztack!